About Us



“We will achieve our goals only when everyone belongs in and feels included in the Division of Agriculture, Life and Veterinary Sciences, and Cooperative Extension. 

You will know we have done so when we:  

  • Embrace diversity in every way it exists.  

  • Understand that our behaviors, especially those we are not aware of, can make others feel they don’t belong. 

  • Embrace equality, equity and fairness as lived principles in everything we do. And ask ourselves, and others, daily if we are living them.” 


Dean Shane C. Burgess

Shane C. Burgess, Vice President for the Division of Agriculture, Life and Veterinary Sciences, and Cooperative Extension


The ALVSCE Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Council has the mission to be a catalyst for growth that makes the Division a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive place that inspires belonging.


  • Provide meaningful opportunities for learning and growth around DEI issues

    • Model the mindset that mistakes with DEI are learning opportunities
  • Create safe spaces for dialogue and cross collaborations
    • Facilitate and support but not legislate or call out
  • Spotlight bright spots of DEI programs that are working within the units – encourage sharing and adoption of best practices across the units
    • Amplify activities in units and increase the recognition of individuals who are DEI champions and allies through the use of awards
  • Partner with mission area leaders to embed DEI activities in our everyday language and activities, and which foster collaboration among different parts of the Division
  • Liaison between Division and units


The Council is not the expert on all DEI matters but brings together experts and resources, elevates the discussion of DEI issues into decision making, embeds DEI thinking in our culture, and shines a light on best practices that move us closer to our mission.

  • Collaboratively develop and carry out a Division-wide vision for DEI
  • Work with unit and Division leaders to create policies that increase the diversity, equity, and inclusiveness of our organization for staff, faculty, and the student body
  • Identify, address, and raise awareness of emerging issues dealing with equity and related matters
  • Host and program events that provide learning opportunities in DEI and amplify events within units or across the University; create opportunities for people to learn about others and build connections of empathy and understanding
  • Provide a central clearinghouse for units, faculty, staff, students, and leaders regarding DEI


DEI Council members are elected representatives from units in ALVSCE, or appointed by unit heads through their own, determination. The Council desires to have a membership that represents the diversity of CALS, Cooperative Extension, Arizona Experiment Station, and support units. This includes the desire to have representation from undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoc members, as well as faculty and staff.

Membership Duration

Each unit leader will put forward a representative to the Council for a 3-year term. Members can serve multiple terms. Ideally, no more than one third of the Council will turn over each year to retain institutional memory and operational knowledge of the Council.

Member Responsibilities

  • Participate in Council meetings and subcommittees and come to meetings prepared to contribute.
  • Seek feedback from those you represent. Identify unit DEI needs and bring them to the Council for discussion, resourcing, and further action. Nurture the efforts of the DEI committee in your unit.
  • Share upcoming events, news, and advice or recommendations back to the unit.
  • Recognize that ALVSCE has a diversity of viewpoints and approach DEI issues with an open and curious mind.

Current Members

Faculty & Staff Members
  • Aranguren, Maria del Carmen, Communications & Cyber Technologies
  • Armstong Florian, Traci, Maricopa Cooperative Extension
  • Benedict Monteverde, Sabrina, Nutritional Sciences & Wellness
  • Broneck, Kathy, Animal, and Comparative Biomedical Sciences
  • Cortez, Teresa, Career and Academic Services
  • Culver, Melanie, Natural Resources & the Environment
  • Fernandez-Tornella, Maria Luz, Nutritional Sciences & Wellness
  • Hall, Caitlyn, Biosystems Engineering
  • Kaczowka, Angela, Ag Education, Tech & Innovation
  • Maier, Raina, Environmental Science
  • Matzkin, Luciano, Entomology
  • Pallock, Linda, Human Ecology
  • Ratje, Jeff, Division Business Services
  • Rodriguez-Lorta, Nancy, Career and Academic Services
  • Verdolin, Jennifer, Natural Resources & the Environment